The real relationship between rewards and employee performance

23 Feb 2022

Can employee rewards really influence employee performance?

All will be revealed in this blog. Along with the reasons why employers choose to reward employees, and the best types of employee rewards to boost motivation, performance, and loyalty.

Let’s get started.

Reasons to reward employees

There are many reasons why you might want to reward staff members with a special ‘thank you’. Some of the most popular examples include thanking employees for their hard work or high performance.

In a Blackhawk Network study, we asked employees what they expected to be rewarded for. The top answer was ‘for the ongoing effort I put in at work’, which suggests that it’s important to recognise those who complete their duties as expected and not just those who go the extra mile.

The benefits of rewarding employees

A number of studies highlight the powerful relationship between rewards and employee performance.

For example, 77% of employees report that they would work harder if they felt better recognised and 68% of employees said they would remain loyal to their employer if they were regularly thanked for their efforts.

When we asked employees for their thoughts on employee rewards and recognition, three out of four respondents said that reward programmes make them feel ‘valued’ and that ‘the company cares about me.’

So, it’s no surprise that driving positive feelings with a rewards programme can lead to a 44% increase in employee performance.

In fact, feeling valued is so important to today’s workforce that 60% of employees would choose a job that offered lower pay but better benefits.

Rewarding employees can also boost productivity. One study found that 50% of companies that gave employees Christmas rewards saw an improvement in productivity levels in the new year. As a result, companies offering an incentive programme with the right type of reward enjoy a 79% success rate in achieving their business goals.

With that in mind, let’s look at the ‘right type’ of employee rewards.

What are the best employee rewards?

Our research into the type of rewards employees want from their employer’s rewards programmes highlighted the desire for choice-based rewards.

That’s why one of the top three preferred rewards was ‘a gift card to use at a variety of retailers’, with popular interests including food and drink (64%), entertainment and events (57%), and sport (39%). Employees like to have the flexibility to choose the right gift for them.

In an age where nearly everyone owns a smartphone – 96% of 16-24-year-olds in the UK own a smartphone – it’s no surprise that digital rewards, such as eGift codes, are becoming increasingly popular with employees. They’re instant, they’re flexible, and they put the employee in control.

As for how often to reward employees, our research found that two-thirds of the UK workforce would be happy with a monthly or quarterly reward. This suggests that a successful employee rewards programme is one that recognises staff little and often.

Our employee rewards range

Want to foster the relationship between rewards and employee performance within your business?

We are the leading provider of employee rewards and work with businesses across the UK to help them engage with and inspire their staff.

As well as gift cards, eGift codes, and experience vouchers, we also specialise in multi-brand choice-based rewards to drive desired behaviours.

Get in touch today to find out more.

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